LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Mike Hines wants to get on with his life. But for now, the 57-year-old is stuck in a bed at Lee Memorial Hospital, because there are no nursing homes locally that have openings for Medicaid patients.
"This is a human life we are talking about. Not getting your car fixed. This is about a human being," says Hines.
He is frustrated because he needs to move to a nursing home for 6 weeks of rehabilitation after surgery for severe bed sores, developed while he was at his home. He's been treated at the hospital for more than three weeks. Now, he's ready to leave, if only there was a place to take him.
Hines was paralyzed in his arms and legs in January, 2010, after he was shot in a home invasion.
Mary Briggs, spokesperson for Lee Memorial, says it's not unusual for nursing homes to run out of Medicaid beds.
"It happens a lot. That's why our case workers try to start right away to find out where a patient will move to, once the patient is done here at the hospital. However, we cannot put anyone out on to the streets. If there is no place to go, they stay right here, until we can find a place for them," she told WINK News.
Hines is trying to remain hopeful.
"You can cry all you want and care all you want, but it's not getting me the services I need to survive," he said.